Palm Springs Getaway
Gluten Free dining, craft cocktails, hip pool spots, organic and ayurvedic day spas, places to avoid, and more!
If you were following along over the weekend you know I spent the holiday weekend in Palm Springs. My dear friend who lives there was kind enough to give us a huge list of places to check out while we were there. Being the food lovers that we are, my partner and I dug in and looked at every single menu and ate at as many places as we could in the four days we were there. Below are my recommendations for those looking to enjoy dining out with Gluten, Dairy, and other food allergies or sensitivities.
Considered one of the best restaurants in America right now, this place is quirky and has phenomenal food. Recommended for Dinner, my partner and I both had the 4 course meal. I had a cold blended gazpacho, a garden salad with rose petals, honey glazed Duck for the main course, and Blackberry sorbet for dessert. It was heaven! My partner had a european cheeses and olives, Beef Tenderloin, and Peach Cardamom Creme Brûlée. It's a one of a kind dining experience- highly recommended! View the menu here: Eight4Nine MENU
If you're looking for a beautiful ambience, look no further. Vibey and hip, complete with an evening dinner under string lights. Lovely menu and an even lovelier place. They have build your own pizzas with gluten free crust OR Cauliflower Crust!!! Sold. View their Menu here: BIRBA MENU
This is a foodie's heaven tbh. But make a reservation! Their craft cocktails and their actual food menu are a total treat. If you're looking for a hip modern food experience, check out this menu: WORKSHOP MENU
PALM GREENS CAFE
Guys, this is an all organic breakfast and lunch spot + juice and smoothie place! Just a few minutes from downtown with the absolute best organic juice and smoothie menu i've ever seen. I was able to keep up with my lifestyle between gluten free beers with their superfood probiotic green smoothie and I felt really good about that ;) It's casual, affordable, not the cutest, but they have gf blueberry pancakes so who cares am I right? Lots of Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian options here. Menu: PALM GREENS MENU
A few more restaurants to check out for dinner are DISH, SPENCERS (Fine Dining), Al Dente (wasn't amazing, but they do have gluten free italian pastas and such). Bars to checkout would be BAR (it's called BAR) they have a beer garden and ping pong, cornhole and other outside games. Truss and Twine is right across from Eight4Nine so perfect to checkout pre or post dinner. Its a brand new beautiful bar.
Places to Avoid:
According to my sweet friend who lives there, avoid: Hair of the Dog (locals spot), Zeldaz, Copa, Toucans, and LuLu's.
Day Time FUN
The summer is hot as hell in Palm Springs as I'm sure you can imagine so most places have a pool and our private mid century home that we rented did, however we did spend Sunday at ACE hotel and swim club where they also have an Organic Spa where we enjoyed 90 minute massages in between our swim in their sea salt pool. ACE hotel is a Retro hotel nestled in the hills just outside of downtown.
You can pay $20 for a day pass to use the salt pool and dine at the Kings Highway which has delicious food with GF/Veg options or, if you get a massage at their Feel Good Organic Spa, you get to use the pool free as well! This is also a really rad place to stay if you don't already have somewhere booked.
Moorten's Botanical Garden is a cool place to check out if it isn't too hot outside. The main strip downtown has really cool spanish and art deco architecture which happens to be something my boyfriend and I both love, so we spent some time each day either walking around or driving our neighborhood to see all of the mid century modern homes.
When we had enough of the heat we had a blast in the air conditioning playing Black Jack at the Casino downtown.
The JW Marriott just outside of town, has a delicious spa menu that includes several Ayurvedic treatments. If you've never had an Ayurvedic spa treatment then you don't know the divinity that you are missing! Seriously!
Overall I found Palm Springs a really lovely place to visit that was conducive to my lifestyle food wise. I hope you have a blast if you visit!
And for everyone who responded to my post asking about the house I stayed at during my trip, the owner is a friend of ours and they are currently only renting the space for a minimum of a month at a time. If anything changes, I'll update this blog with the info!
Lost and found.
And then lost again... and then found again... has been the never ending cycle of my twenties.
Three years ago when I became a columnist for TCW, many of you know I was going through a major health crisis. Healing my body of autoimmunity, chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety was the focus of my life.
I was obsessed with healing the mystical knot that was the meeting of my mind and body's dis-ease.
Writing out the spiritual perspective of my journey helped me gain clarity over and over again as I waded through those years that felt simply impossible.
Things would improve and then it would feel like the foundation fell out from under me again and again. This was actually a huge lesson in faith, right there in a nutshell. I will spare all of the details that I shared in 2015 in my four part memoir that I wrote for my column about how I came to be ill, but to recap, in 2014 I was diagnosed with stage three adrenal fatigue, so extreme that I was only at 18% function. I legitimately thought I was dying or that I might die which ended up just really being the gift of surrender in disguise. I had tried to control everything for so long, holding on so tight so that I wouldn't unravel, and finally I just couldn't anymore. I had no choice but to walk in my truth and do what I knew I needed to do to get better, despite worrying about what anyone thought of my journey because it was either that, or continual decline. I had to crack myself wide open.
In the late fall of 2014, I found my Naturopath, Glen Depke in Costa Mesa, CA, and have been working with him ever since.
After my initial adrenal tests, I tested positive for dangerously high levels of Mercury, parasitic infections, a gang of food allergies, and candida.
If you're well versed in amateur functional medicine, this is not surprising because anytime the immune system is as compromised as mine was from such low adrenal function and poor gut health we end up with lots of infection bogging down our system. These happen to be "common" infections for people dealing with unexplained fatigue, pain, autoimmunity etc. The idea is to slowly, gently, and systematically cleanse the body with herbs while boosting the immune system, nourishing the adrenals back to health, and addressing the underlying emotional stagnancy.I also radically overhauled my vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and switched to a strict form of Paleo (autoimmune paleo). And, i'm still with it. It is a LIFESTYLE change because it can honestly take years to come back fully. I am so okay with continuing these principles to continue onward and upward. I'm also very okay with indulging and enjoying things outside of my strict protocol. To be honest the first two years of healing I was extremely strict, I didn't even eat fruit for over an entire year I was so faithful to my process. But at this point,
A bath and an occasional cigarette will always be a vibe for me.
I will always preach the foundation of gold is to know how to care for your body naturally. I carry all of my herbal, nutritional, supplemental wisdom with me always.
The reality that a rocky childhood, or a major trauma (or two) can set the stage for illness to manifest in your body is absolutely one truth that has become obvious to me as I meet woman after woman with unexplained health issues and a story that feels all too familiar. So, from 20-24 I focused hard on the spiritual growth thinking the mental emotional was the root of everything. I did yoga and meditation, I did energy healing, I worked with shamans and crystal workers, I read sacred texts, divulged my deepest darkest secrets, my kundalini rose, I became increasingly psychic and in tune, but was still sick as hell. 24-26 I changed my behavior, I changed my diet, I faced my fears and I prayed every day for direction. And it came. I balanced both ends and the healing happened when I found the links where they intersected.
Health, joy, and normalcy, all crept back in very subtly for me. All of a sudden I just found myself able to do more and handle more. I felt happier and more confident in my skin etc. Last year when I took over TCW when Holly decided to step away, I was already running my online plant business, PLANTMOM, full time. What I did not see coming was that as my body healed, and layer after layer surfaced and wellness started filling in the spaces that once carried low energy illness, I realized I didn't want to talk about my health all the time anymore on social media. I no longer wanted to talk constantly about my current emotions, supplements, and functional medicine testing, and diet, reactions to food, and everything else. I was really really over it. I'm not even totally 100% healthy again yet, I just realized it was not a healthy focus for me. The heavy focus on myself was not serving me and it felt fake.
So, instead of faking what I didn't feel I just stepped away and resumed living my life again almost as if the past 6 years never happened.
I got a taste of health and I just hit the ground running. I was that fucking ready. I needed it so badly. I never had a doubt in my mind that things would reconvene for me with TCW, I just needed a minute to BREATHE. And that breath came at a time when I had a lot of responsibility on my plate, but that didn't stop me from honoring how I was feeling which was honestly, overwhelmed and uninspired. So, that's where I've been.
So instead of daily blogging about food, supplements, oils, crystals, and my health journey, the past several months day to day has looked like, my daily parasite cleanse, hormone balancing protocol, and paleo diet ++PLUS: the real life work of healing the relationships with my closets girlfriends, the same ones I isolated myself from while I was sick. Going dancing on the weekends with my best friend that held me down through YEARS of unrest (getting my relationship back with her is a treasure I could never put into words). These past months have looked like driving to see my family in my hometown multiple days a week because all I really care about at this juncture is the richness and depth of my relationships. Cups of tea with my mom, seeing my dad regularly and healing our relationship, spending every minute I can with my little nephew because he's the sweetest thing in my life, playing pool with my sister and staying up to sit on her outside patio to talk til late after the baby goes to sleep... I've been re-rembering where I come from and bringing it back home with me each time I leave my hometown. I've been nostalgic, but also feeling like my life is a big wide open question mark at the moment. I'm re-building. I'm healing and also living rather than waiting for the day I re-gain full health to resume life, whatever that means and whatever that might look like.
My foundation has been illness, and instability, and so physically debilitating for so many years, so forgive me for wilding and dropping a few things when I recovered enough to breathe. I had to lay down all the pieces so that I could stand back and figure out what I really want. Do I want to be in the plant business? Do I even want to own a business? Do I want to do energy work and spiritual coaching, Reiki, Crystal therapy, educate people, and help people heal? Do I want to move back to my hometown with all i've learned and give back and help heal the cycle of poverty and violence in my community? Do I want to go back to school for acupuncture or interior design, or photography (laughing as I type this because this is exactly where my head is)?
That being said, my life is soaked in the intention to live in joy and that is mostly because I've been to ACTUAL hell with the healing process. Which, not so coincidentally, was also a rebirth of sorts; a rebirth into the space of service.
The only thing I'm currently sure of, is that I want to be of service, and that is at the root of what I know to be my truth.
So for now, I'm going to uphold the framework that earns me a living and link myself through to the next chapter. Because in all of this, the greatest lesson has been to never stay fixed in any one vision or version of myself. Stay malleable and ready for the possibility of your transformation constantly and trust that your gifts will unfold as they should.
ALL OF MY LOVE,
Interview with Louise Androlia
Artist | Tarot Therapist | Life Coach
Photo Credit: Jessica Maccormick http://www.jessicamaccormick.
Louise, thank you for joining us for this special interview! I’m so excited to share your spirit with the women joining us here at The Common Woman. I would love to offer our readers both insights into your current lifestyle/trade as well as the backstory as to how you developed into the sparkling sister you are today. So, let’s get started!
Louise: Hello. Thanks for having me! You guys are awesome.
TCW: As a woman of many trades, how did becoming a life coach become your passion?
Louise: I never set out to be a coach but my life experiences lead me this way. I always had a consistently art and creativity based intention for life and although that hasn’t changed, I was dropped into the path as a therapist after spending the first half of my 20’s overcoming chronic pain and PTSD. After working through these challenges I knew that they were in place to help me be of service, but I had to do my own healing first. This was a period of recovery, physical and mental as well as diving fully back into my life again! And eventually I woke up about five years ago and heard ‘it’s time’ and then I set to work discovering the best way I could be of service.
My baseline passion is to help as many people as possible feel less alone and I try to achieve that through all of my endeavors. I kind of stumbled into coaching upon realizing that my voice is my best tool, it wasn’t enough for me to be just doing hands on healing. I know what it’s like to feel lost in your own shadows, afraid and in pain and now that I have the tools to live a happy and balanced life, it would seem strange to not share them. It’s my responsibility as someone with a story. It is so healing and heart opening for me to be able to see people become less afraid and more empowered right in front of my eyes.
TCW: Louise, can you tell me a little bit about your philosophy of healing and self-empowerment? You’ve mentioned that you believe in empowerment through self-awareness and self-knowledge. So many women struggle to move comfortably into being themselves; I am wondering if you have any practical advice on cultivating skills to assist in the process of aligning with the “self” and really just becoming comfortable in our own skin?
Louise: Yes, empowerment to me is a reflection of being ultimately connected to oneself and yes it IS a struggle because all of our negative experiences disconnect us from that self. Since my main experience has been with PTSD and trauma recovery I’ve learned that we naturally step out of ourselves when we experience challenges, because our fears lead us to believe that our mind, body or spirit isn’t a safe place to be in. With anxiety, when we feel scared of our own mind, we check out. When we are in physical pain or upset with our physical appearance we check out of our body, because suddenly the mind and body don’t feel like places we want to be. However to move through our pain, we have to feel it. You’ve got to feel it to heal it as they say.
The best way to start realigning with the self is by feeling feelings. It may sound simple but a huge percentage of us are walking around trying to avoid every negative feeling, because of course to feel things means FEELING them, and it’s not easy. However the only way our mind and body can connect and process fears and traumas are through feeling. You may notice that you often label yourself using the term ‘I AM’ with negative feelings, e.g. I am angry, I am anxious, and I am scared. A quick tool is to start using ‘I FEEL’ as a statement and put it into a morning practice or a meditation if you have one. Locate the feeling you are experiencing, perhaps it’s anxiety, anger, jealousy, even disconnected and sit and say ‘I FEEL ***’ and then notice where you can feel it in your body, because all feelings are also physical. As you note it, keep breathing deeply and note how the feeling moves around the body. This can feel so scary but I promise it is safe. In this moment of feeling you are connecting mind to body and enabling you to be slap bang in the present moment. You can even just as you are walking around practice this by just saying in your mind ‘I feel **’ with everything that comes up, good feelings too. As you enable yourself to become present with all of your feelings you are then in a position to work with them. Empowerment starts coming in when you manage to locate your feelings, feel them and then honor them and work with them. I believe that we can feel empowered even in crisis as long as we value our experience. This is the hard part as humans seem to naturally devalue our challenges, so along with that I FEEL exercise, try adding on ‘AND IT’S OK’ to the end to remind yourself that it’s ok to feel negative things. Just because they are uncomfortable doesn’t mean they are not normal. All your feelings are of value.
TCW: Can we talk a little bit about this quote of yours? “I believe that to be spiritual all we need to do is honor our spirit.” I believe this is simple yet quite profound. So many folks see spirituality as something outside themselves and I love this because this requires the involvement of the self and first facing and coming to know our own soul! I love that you go beyond that to say that we must honor our spirit. Do you believe this sort of introspection requires some sort of catalyst in one’s life?
Louise: When I see our spirit, I think of it like a sideways matchbox at the center of our chest, it’s the place where we strike the light. To be ‘spiritual’ we have to explore what makes us feel alight. Our spirit is also our energy space. Spirituality is only outside of ourselves if we allow the restrictions of the fear-based ego to step in. It is this part of ourselves that convinces us that we are separate and we must search for things. This is why people struggle so much with searching for their purpose, searching for enlightenment, searching for success. These things are not outside of us, they are already part of us and our spiritual journey is realizing that we had access to them all along. I believe that our journey as humans and this material experience is to kind of dust away this fog that is covering us up from our sense of empowerment, which is our natural state. We are all worthy and strong and vulnerable and brilliant, but we have to get beneath our fears to see that space.
In order to honor our spirit we have to firstly allow ourselves to explore what makes us feel alive and alight, because it’s those things about us that connect us to joy and also our ability to make a difference in the world. Then we have to commit to our own unique healing journey. That sense of a catalyst sometimes IS an external experience, but the experience will always be in place to guide you back to yourself you see. So for me, experiencing chronic pain and psychological trauma made me believe nothing about my ‘self’ was safe. However my intuition was so strong (and has been since I was a child) telling me that I had to listen to my body, that feeling my pain and trauma were the biggest spiritual experience I’ve ever had, because they connected me to myself. And I say that as someone who has been able to communicate with the dead since I was young. I believe very much in the human awakening. Your catalyst may just be reading an article, or it may just be your own feelings of pain or disconnection, it’s essentially something that resonates with that natural empowered self enough that it causes you to want to stand up for your self and explore further.
Then finally, we commit to doing our work to be of service, and that doesn’t have to be becoming a healer or an activist (although those are my chosen paths), it means actually LIVING in this empowered self that you’ve discovered, because when you are lit up then others have an opportunity to reflect that.
Ummm I hope that made sense! So in short, spirit is a form of internal empowerment that we can always access, where we connect to our inner pilot light and learn how to keep it burning. Our spirit IS our intuition and it IS our connection to god or an external energy, but it’s also recognizing that those things are also part of us. As above, so below, as within, so without.
TCW: On the flip side of tapping into our personal power as women, I feel there is also a strong rising force of women who are banding together, all over the globe! You moved here to Los Angeles from London recently, and I am curious what your experiences have been in regard to a growing sisterhood. As someone from the LA area, I certainly feel it. Do you believe this is a kind of global healing that is happening between women?
Louise: Yes definitely. I feel it everywhere and see it. On a small scale, because of the rise in individuals seeking connection and empowerment we have more and more meditation groups, women’s circles and general sharing and collaboration. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have sat in groups, whether it’s been a meditation thing or an art share, with women who confess that they have never felt comfortable amongst other women. I’ve seen them admit experiences of being bullied in school or having had experiences where they have felt they lost their voice. Then suddenly one person and another and another say ME TOO. Suddenly no one is alone. It’s happening in every city, places are stepping into a new place of amazing collaboration and empowerment and it only gets stronger. I am lucky as I have worked in two fields; one in independent fashion (I had my own lingerie brand) where I fought to promote collaboration OVER competition and then as a therapist, where I get to be surrounded by so many inspirational women doing similar work. I feel at home when I’m sharing with others and reminding myself that I am not alone or separate.
And now we have stepped into a place where on a global level people are rising up and speaking out about women’s challenges around the world. It’s time for change. I can see that shame and feelings of weakness are being kicked to the ground as more and more people and more and more voices are saying this isn’t OK. There are woman all over the world who are still being persecuted just for their sex, in the most horrific ways. There is still a wage gap. Women’s health services are still at risk. We must educate ourselves. This has to be now a political and global priority, because at the base of it all, it IS about healing, it IS about oneness and it IS a massive opportunity for any of us in a privileged position (which I certainly am) to do everything we can to make a difference. This can be as simple as being that person that says ME TOO or being the person that shares your personal story. Massive shifts start with tiny shifts, right now.
So, um yeah I’m feeling it! And I’m thrilled to have moved to a new city where I can join together with other woman to gain more momentum. And men, that’s something I’m loving seeing is the rise of male feminists who truly understand that feminism has nothing to do with man hating and all about global empowerment, empathy and education. I’m currently hugely inspired by Matt Mcgorry, an actor who is using his privilege and voice to speak up about important feminist and race issues. This is what change is about, realizing that we must all stand for something, that it is our responsibility to discover how to use our voices in the most compassionate and collaborative ways that we can. It’s a time for rising up.
So, hell yeah to the sisterhood! ANYTHING that can help others feel less alone and of value is essential. I’m excited about what can happen the more everyone keeps getting involved, sharing, speaking up and learning, on rotation, on repeat. Hence why it’s SO important that we share our stories, particularly our painful ones because we not only empower ourselves but we empower other people too.
TCW: You possess many powerful skills, (writer, life Coach, tarot reader, speaker, artist, etc.) many of which place you in a position of providing a message to others. I fid this beautiful and invite you to share any message you feel called you share with our readers to close this interview. If you would like to share an intuitive thought or pull a card for the community, we welcome you.
Louise: I would love to pull a card for your community. I use Tarot as a powerful self-help tool, again as something that should not pull us away from ourselves but instead invite us to go inside and look at what we can find. I have been using the Tarot for about 17 years now and it’s a never-ending deep dive into the human experience and all we may encounter, mind, body and spirit. I invite anyone who feels called to the subject to get in touch and learn with me.
I love tuning into a collective as it always reminds me time and time again that we are not alone. I’ve learned through my work that we all have the same fears just packaged up in our unique experiences yet we all feel alone.
I have picked out for us The Seven of Cups and this is a deep one, all about our own illusions and really ties into what I’ve been talking about.
Think about all your deepest fears as illusions, old tired stories that you’ve been reading and re reading on repeat for way too long. What negative beliefs have you tricked yourself, or been tricked into thinking are true. Those negative self-deprecating thoughts, are they really real or at some point did you just take them on as a reality? You’ll probably find the latter to be true.
Shattering illusions is breaking down these fear stories and rewriting them in a way that works FOR you. Perhaps start with a writing exercise and write down those powerful statements, those ‘I cant’s’ and ‘I’m not good enough’s’. Notice what feelings come up and what memories from the past emerge as you address them. Perhaps you can locate the exact moment that the story was written?
Now it’s time to change them, start by going over them and replacing them with ‘I feel like this, but it’s not a truth’. ‘I let this old story go and am willing to see something else’. As you start to acknowledge and forgive, become aware that your own empowerment can be gained by taking possession of these old stories and realizing that they don’t work for you anymore. You can choose again. It’s an incredibly powerful moment when you realize that just because a fear thought is so familiar in your mind, it doesn’t mean that it’s true. The unknown is unfamiliar but it doesn’t have to be bad. Step into the unknown by rewriting your stories into ones that work for you.
Louise is a Writer, Life Coach, Artist, Tarot Therapist, Speaker and general Magic Maker. She works with clients one on one, in groups and through writing and believes in empowerment through self-awareness and self-knowledge. At age three, her parents found her casting spells in the backseat of the car and growing up, she was—and forever will be—enraptured by magic and miracles. She is on a constant quest to help as many people as possible feel less alone and loves teaching people how to feel their feelings.
Sullivan's Gulch Airbnb
Mid August we set out on a road trip from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon to surprise an old friend from college for his 30th birthday party. This is our third trip to Portland in the last couple years and we're beginning to get a feel for the city in a slightly more intimate way after this last visit. We stayed in Sullivan's Gulch in the North East part of town. The north east is full of quirky shops and progressive vibes. We had brunch and went to Pistils Nursery which was a really rad plant shop near the breakfast spot we went to.
This darling little pink apartment was so accessible and central to everything we did the entire trip. Literally ten minutes across the bridge and into the west side of the city where you can
lose yourself in the enormous and famous Powell books, die over the three story Anthropologie in the Pearl district, wander the largest most enchanting rose garden you've ever seen, bliss out in the Japanese Zen garden...
and probably lots of other things people who actually live there can recommend.
Five minutes south of this little apartment and you're in the South East quadrant where you'll find a lot of adorable vintage homes and lots of paleo friendly and vegan foodie spots on Division street. We went to Salt & Straw for dessert and I had a gluten free, dairy free, and soy free coconut whoopie pie ice cream. Thx Portland! We also had the best oysters of our lives at The Woodsman with our friends the evening before we left.
As wonderful of a city as Portland is in terms of being accommodating and friendly, traveling with food allergies and a fairly strict healing lifestyle can be tricky.
I booked this spot for two initial reasons. The first was that it has a full kitchen to prepare meals and batch cook for long days. Second, this spot is incredibly central and also really fucking adorably decorated.
What I didn't realize until we got there was that it was also walking distance to New Seasons, an organic grocery store that we frequented last time we were in town.
So if you're visiting Portland as someone who is looking to explore all four quadrants of the city with relative ease, this spot is absolutely ideal.
It also has major appeal if you're traveling while following the autoimmune paleo diet and need to cook your own food at home.
The house is stocked with basic cooking accessories so you needn't bring any, the lovely host, David provides quality organic shampoo and soap etc. annnnnd this little nest is stacked with decor that will inspire you to redecorate your own house or potentially tempt you to rip out and replace your boring kitchen floors.
To browse or book this airbnb listing, click here.